41 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 23rd. Will make the Chase because of his Martinsville win.
WATKINS GLEN RECORD: Finished ninth a year ago for his fifth top-10 finish in 13 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch is another driver who believes the difference between Sonoma and Watkins Glen is like night and day. "Sonoma is a track where the corners are a lot slower and you're struggling to put the power down. It's pretty much the opposite of that situation when racing at Watkins Glen. It's still a road course, but the differences are pretty big. Watkins Glen has wide, sweeping, fast corners where it's not as tough to put the power down like it is at Sonoma. It's (the Glen) also just more of a momentum race track."
LOOKING BACK: Crew chief Daniel Knost elected to put Busch on a different pit cycle than many of his competitors and it resulted in Busch leading three times for 30 laps. But Busch's victory aspirations were damaged when the caution came out with 43 laps to go for a 13-car accident. Still, he was in running for a top-10 finish when a flat tire sent him into the wall with only seven laps remaining. As a result, Busch ended up 13th. "The crew did a good job repairing the damage and keeping me on the lead lap," said a dejected Busch. "So we were able to salvage a top-15 finish, but we were headed for a much better day if things had gone right for us. Just not our day."
ETC.: Busch had two wins and a third-place finish in three Nationwide Series starts at Watkins Glen. Busch hopes to carry that success over to Sunday this weekend. "The balance I've found in the Nationwide car is a dominant type of balance," said Busch. "But, I've struggled a little with the Sprint Cup car trying to do two things - one is getting the car to cut the corners the same way, and the other is the fuel mileage game that always comes into play with the Cup car. I've never really been able to gamble on the Cup races. This time around, with us virtually locked into the Chase, we will be on the positive side of gambling on fuel."